Chapter 8: Smile Like You Mean It
thanks to dare4distance @ tda :D
Disclaimer: Everything but Callie is Jo’s, and Rowling even inspires even Callie.
They were all smirking.
I should have been surprised. But I wasn’t.
They’re enigmatic smirks were practically bouncing off the sodding walls in joy at getting me here, delighted that they had finally got me cornered.
Even Lupin, who shouldn’t have bloody been looking at me, was smirking (a smirk I was sure he had spent many hours in front of the mirror practising). I dared not look at him for long enough (the previous nights antics still made my stomach plummet) and instead forced myself to look into the repugnant smirking face of Sirius Black.
‘Stebbins.’ He nodded, his smirk (if possible) growing bigger as he looked at me.
‘Gits.’ I nodded in return.
‘As witty as ever I see Stebbins.’ Potter said dryly.
‘Yes.’ I said offering him a fake smile.
He simply stared at me with a cold look of disdain.
‘So what ingenious idea have your prats come up with?’ I asked in a bored tone, inside I was shitting myself to know what exactly the gits had in store for me; I was sure it was going to lead to my untimely death.
‘Oh, you’re going to love it.’ Smirked Black.
‘Yes I’m sure I’ll love it Black. How convenient that you’ve chosen to do a prank against my boyfriend and his house.’ I muttered dryly.
‘Funny that, isn’t it?’ He smirked, eyeing my closely.
‘Well come on tell me what you have in store, I’m dying
‘Before we tell you,’ Began Potter looking straight at me ‘you’re going to have to comply with some ground rules, Moony,’ He finished looking at his prat of a friend to finish his sentence (seemingly his word limit had run out for the day, it was, after all, eleven o’clock).
I looked at Lupin (it would have seemed far too suspicious if I hadn’t), and I saw for a mere second his eyes flicker with something other than his usual disgust for me.
‘Right, yes. Stebbins you’re going to have to promise a few things.’ He mumbled becoming flustered.
‘I know Lupin, Potter’s just said that.’ I replied in the most patronising tone I could muster. I was smiling for once at his awkwardness around me.
‘You alright Moony?’ Asked Black looking between Lupin and I.
‘Yeah I’m fine Padfoot.’ He snapped, his eyes finding something very interesting on the ground.
I noted the quizzical glance Black and Potter shared with each other. It was only then, when I saw the two bum-buddies share a questioning look that I realised what Lupin had done. He had not told his best friends what he had done with dirty Stebbins. Which surprised me more than any marauder prank could, because surely I would have been any of their greatest conquests (apart from Potter who was so hung up on Lily it was almost worth the two getting together just to shut him up). And it certainly was not the fact that I was the most beautiful girl in the school (I had a bloody birds nest for hair) and they all fawned over me obsessively, no, the reason that I would have been their greatest conquest was because it would mean that they could rub it into Evan’s and every other Slytherin’s face that I had kissed them. The notion had even surprised me at first, because they were as repulsed by me as I was by them, but the fact remained they would be able to call me all the names under the sun, embarrass the entire Slytherin house, and have me dragged home by my mother (because someone would tell her) all in one fail swoop.
It was this reason that made me wonder why on earth Lupin hadn’t told any of his boyfriends. Though it did explain the awkwardness and the lack of eye contact (not that I missed any such thing). But then his whiny little voice came into my head, last night, that sodding fatal night when I should have just run to my common room, when I had told him that his friends would kill him.
‘I don’t care.’
But that would mean he cared for me. And there was no way in hell that was going to be true. Black would have to become homosexual before I ever believed such a thing. Though considering Black and Potter’s relationship….
I shook my head violently. Lupin did not like me, he had most probably swigged some of that firewhiskey I had found hidden under the couch nearest the fireplace in their common room and in the time it had taken to find me become inebriated enough to kiss me. Though it still didn’t explain why he didn’t tell the other three prats, maybe he just hadn’t got round to it yet? Or maybe a flying monkey had come swooping into the classroom after I had left, hit the prat over the head and then-
‘Stebbins, tell me honestly, are you clinically sane?’ Drawled Black’s voice.
I blinked rapidly. They were all looking at me, clearing thinking the same question Black had just asked me.
‘Yes.’ I muttered looking down at my feet.
‘And you’re sure you’re going to be able to understand the next words that come out of my mouth?’ He asked in a slow and patronising voice.
'I don't speak moron Black, but I'm sure if you speak in good, proper English I'll be able to understand.’ I smirked.
‘Good.’ He mumbled slightly dejectedly, glaring at me slightly.
‘Good.’ I smiled falsely.
‘Right when we do this prank, you’re going to have to promise us that you’ll never speak of anything we showed you, or anything you saw. In fact, you’re not going to talk about this evening again, alright?’ Asked Black, eyeing me closely.
‘Fine.’ I sighed waving a hand in acceptance.
‘No Stebbins, not fine, promise us; you will not speak of anything you have seen.’ Ordered Potter seriously.
‘Merlin Potter, don’t get your knickers in a twist.’ I muttered.
He glared at me.
‘Fine! I promise.’ I sighed.
‘Good.’ He muttered ‘Right then come over here Stebbins.’
I looked at them all warily as they huddled close together.
‘Why?’ I asked wearily.
‘Because.’ Black snapped.
‘Right new rule. Stebbins doesn’t ask questions.’ Interjected Potter.
‘Fine.’ I huffed slowly walking over to them.
I stood next to them, looking at them expectantly.
‘Bit closer Stebbins.’ Potter urged.
I cautiously moved a foot closer.
‘Oh for Merlin’s sake.’ Hissed Black grabbing my waist and pulling me so I fell into them.
‘Right, now let’s do this.’ Potter said as he threw something over us.
Black still had his sodding arm round my waist, and I was sure in his own sick demented little man-child brain he was getting some weird satisfaction out of holding Evan Rosier’s girlfriend. The bastard. But I was too busy wondering what the sodding hell Potter had thrown over us to notice. But before I could ask, Black was pulling me along, with Lupin and Pettigrew right behind us, and Potter at Black’s side, probably holding his hand.
‘Who the hell is breathing so loudly? I hate heavy breathing.’ I whined as Potter led us through a deserted Hogwarts.
‘What like Hopkins?’ Smirked Black.
‘No not like sodding Hop-, wait you haven’t paid him or something to follow me round since the beginning of the year have you?’ I asked suspiciously.
‘I wish we could say we did,’ Sighed Potter laughing, evidently the image of a snivelling Hopkins following me round was worth more than his usual smirk.
‘And as if we would pay someone, they’d have to ask us to pay them for following you round all day.’ Smirked Black.
The other three in turn all laughed with him; even Lupin could not contain his raucous laughter.
‘Way to make us as inconspicuous as possible.’ I muttered, ignoring Black’s comment and trying to move away from them, if they got caught I certainly bloody wasn’t going to be.
But I was for once mildly impressed by the four golden boys as they easily found their way to the entrance of the Slytherin common room; their nights of escapades had paid off. It was as we stopped in front of the bare stretch of wall (could Salzar Slytherin not have thought of something nicer?); that I wished I’d have just accepted the bloody hundred years of detention.
‘Stebbins stop struggling so much.’ Hissed Black in my ear, pulling me tight against his body to stop me moving.
‘No! Because you’re going to make me tell you the password, and I’m not going to.’ I snapped trying to wriggle free of his ridiculously tight grasp.
‘Don’t flatter yourself Stebbins.’ Potter hissed.
‘How are you going to get in.’ I whispered, finally giving in to Black’s unyielding strength.
‘We have the password already.’
‘Padfoot slept with some Ravenclaw prefect for it.’
Whoever she was, she was going to bloody pay.
‘Just using my talents.’ Black muttered into my ear, evidently he could read my thoughts. Oh the shame of a supposedly clever Ravenclaw giving into him, though in all honestly, I also gave into them too, though not into the same whorish way she had.
‘Well time’s ticking.’ Pettigrew squeaked. I’m sure he was practically wetting himself with excitement.
‘Don’t wet your pants Wormtail, we’re getting there.’ Hissed Black.
Did Black and I just have the same thought?
I turned to see Pettigrew looking down at the ground ashamed. Black really could be a royal prick sometimes. It was as I was looking at the moping, sorry form of Pettigrew that I felt Black pull me into the common room, backwards. We all stopped as one great mass just inside the common room.
‘All clear.’ Whispered Potter and I then felt him pull something off the five of us.
I turned to find the common room empty, the last time I had seen it so empty was when someone had let a kneazle loose in the room. Curtsey, I’m sure, of the marauders.
‘I forgot how much this place stinks.’ Muttered Potter twisting his face in disgust.
‘Don’t know how you can stand the stench Stebbins.’ Added Pettigrew.
‘Smells like wet dog.’ Offered Lupin.
‘I bloody hate dogs.’ I muttered and I saw all of them glance at one another in that annoying idiotic marauder way.
‘Really Stebbins?’ Smirked Black, still having not let go of me.
‘Yes.’ I snapped shrugging off his arm and walking further into the middle of the common room.
I turned to look at all four of them who were all still hovering just inside of the common room. Considering they had dubbed themselves so arrogantly ‘the marauders – almighty pranksters’ they sure as hell were nervous about stepping into the common room.
‘Would you girls get this prank over already so I can go to sleep?’ I said irately, it was already at least 1 o’clock in the morning, and we had classes tomorrow.
‘Yeah.’ They mumbled their brains (for once) kicking into action.
‘So why exactly am I here?’ I asked as they all moved off into different corners of the room, because they surely did not need me to actually help execute their latest attack on the Slytherins.
‘To keep an eye out for anyone coming in here, and to distract them if they do.’ Potter replied as he muttered a spell at the wall above the entrance that led to the boy’s dormitories.
‘Surely Pettigrew could have done that? He surely is of no other use than being a lookout?’ I asked.
They all seemed to consider my comment for a moment, as though they believed me. But then they obviously remembered who was saying such a thing, and that it was in fact insulting one of their best friends.
‘He’s more use than you Stebbins, you’re here to just go shag Rosier or any of his friends if they turn up.’ Hissed Potter turning away from me.
‘Surely that’s what Pettigrew does anyway.’ I scowled.
‘I like how you no longer deny shagging any of the Slytherins.’ Whispered Black into my ear as he passed me, chuckling to myself.
‘I didn’t not deny it, I simply ignored it.’ I hissed so that no of the others prats could hear.
‘Ignoring it is as good as saying you’re guilty.’ He laughed brushing his hand along my hip as he walked off.
They continued pottering about like 80 year old women, muttering to one another, most probably about the new knitting pattern that had appeared in this weeks ‘Witch Age’ magazine, whilst I stood there bored out of my sodding brain, desperate to go to sleep. I could myself lolling against the wall as they continued to prance about, taking their sweet time to execute a prank I was sure I could have done in ten minutes flat.
But it was as they shuffled around that I heard something. A door had opened at the end of the corridor and I could hear footsteps approaching the common room. They all in turn heard it too, as the person came closer, their ears all pricking up as one, like rabbits in the night, and they all scampered towards Potter.
‘Stebbins send them back to their room.’ Hissed Potter throwing a cloak over all of them.
How the hell was a sodding cloak going to hide four seventeen-year-old boys? I blinked in confusion at their stupidity, and then they were gone. Not even Potter’s overly large head could be seen. What the hell were they playing at? How could they have hidden themselves so effectively? But I had no time to think as I heard the footsteps reach the end of the corridor. They stopped as they evidently found me standing in the common room, still gaping at the spot where the pricks had just vanished.
‘Callie?’ Croaked the voice heavy from sleep.
I groaned inwardly, why could it not have been Evan?
‘Hey Nott.’ I said smiling as I turned to face him.
Cygnus Nott stood in the doorway that led to the Slytherin common room, squinting slightly from the light (though I don’t bloody know why, the common room was so bloody dark I was always surprised never to see bats hanging from the walls). He was rather skinny for a sixth year, lanky was probably are more fitting name for his form, and his dark shaggy brown hair had been left to grow over the summer so that it no longer looked as though a blind hairdresser had given him a ‘number one’ haircut. I had to admit he looked far more fetching now than he had ever done in all the years that I had known him. His hair now nearly touched his shoulders and I noticed for the first time in all the years I had known him that he had light green eyes, and I understood now why Evan had said he had become ever so arrogant this year. The boy had every right to be.
He yawned as he looked at me, ruffling his shaggy hair as he did, and I noted the way that the muscles in his arm rippled as he lifted his hand to his hair. If that muggle story Lily told me of, about the ugly duckling, were written about anyone, it would have been written about Cygnus. He rubbed his eyes slightly, he was still probably shocked to see me here, I really didn’t like coming into the Slytherin common room too often, especially without Evan.
‘What are you doing here?’ He asked bemused.
Shit. Think fast Ravenclaw.
‘I was out after curfew on the first floor, and I saw Filch coming towards me, and there was no way I was going to be able to get back to my common room without him catching me, so I came here.’ I lied, looking him straight in the eye in the hope that the eye contact would make him believe me.
‘Good idea.’ He replied smiling lazily.
‘Yeah, not bad for a Ravenclaw.’ I laughed.
‘Do you want me to go get Evan?’ He asked ruffling his hair once more.
‘No, I’m alright, I best be going actually.’
He shrugged accepting my answer.
‘Night then Stebbins, see you tomorrow.’
And with that he walked back to his dorm, leaving me practically having a panic attack from nearly being caught, whilst I could hear the gits all sniggering to themselves.
‘You’re all prats.’ I muttered darkly.
‘It’s worth it.’ Laughed Black pulling of the cloak.
‘Is that an invisibility cloak?’ I asked.
‘Yes it is Stebbins, how very clever of you to figure out such a thing.’ Potter said in a condescending tone.
‘Whatever Potter. Can you prats just finish this and we can get the hell out of here.’
‘Fine.’ Smirked Potter muttering his last spells before turning to leave.
I observed the familiar common room, it looked no different than it had when we had entered at least an hour before, but that was down to the marauder’s, they were able to lay out there prank and make it inconspicuous.
‘Let’s go.’ Nodded Lupin leading us out of the common room.
Their arrogance evidently thought that they were safe to stroll the corridors at 3 o’clock in the morning without the use of the invisibility coat, gloating at their own god-like disposition at their successful prank (not that I knew what they had done). Their success had left their heads more inflated than ever so that I was practically squeezing myself against the walls of the corridor to be able to walk next to them.
‘Impressed Stebbins?’ Black whispered in my ear coming up behind me like a creeping dementor, whilst the other three pricks walked ahead of us.
‘Of you prats? How could I ever be?’ I sneered turning my head slightly to face him as we walked up the main stairs towards the first floor.
‘Admit it. You’re impressed, and not just by my looks.’ He whispered and I could once again feel his nauseating hot breath against my skin.
I stopped suddenly; there was no way he was going to play his arrogant, pathetic games with me, and I quickly slipped from in front of him to let him pass. He stopped five feet in front of me, finally noticing I was no longer in front and turned to see me resting against the wall glaring at him.
‘Hard to hear the truth Stebbins?’ He smirked as his friends continued to stroll down the corridor, leaving Black and I quite alone.
‘I stopped to stop myself from hauling.’
‘How charming.’ He said smiling falsely and walking back towards me.
‘Well you know me Black, I am to charm.’ I scowled resting my head against the wall.
'Yes I saw the way you were with Nott.' He smirked, watching me for a reaction.
'Stop making something out nothing Black.'
'I'm not, I saw the way you were looking at him.' He chuckled moving closer to me.
I simply rolled my eyes.
'And here I thought you only saved that look for me.'
'You wish Black.'
‘Evidently.’ He smirked as he came to stand so close to me that I was far too close to his face than I ever wanted to be. And for a brief, sickening moment, I felt him give me the look. The Black look. The look that meant that he was scanning my body obsessively, not failing to miss anything.
‘Black.’ I hissed, snapping him out of his gaze.
He looked back up at my face, smirking as he rested a hand on the wall next to my head.
‘Stebbins.’ He murmured in that annoying voice he reserved for me.
We stood looking at one another for a moment, his steady gaze was quite off putting with his steely-grey eyes, but I refused to loose face in front of him. So we continued our silent staring match, whilst the rest of Hogwarts slept and his friends continued to walk down the corridor, unaware that they had left us behind.
‘You know you’d be quite pretty if you didn’t have that birds nest for hair and you didn’t have such despicable taste in men.’ He whispered, breaking our silent staring contest, coming closer to me.
‘Black what th-’
But before I could ask what exactly Black had taken to make him say such a thing a blinding light was suddenly shinning brightly in my face. Someone was pointing their bloody wand light right into my eyes, blinding me permanently. Even Black shunned away from the light, and thankfully, from me too.
‘What happened to you two?’ Asked Potter as his repulsive face slowly came into view.
‘I thought I heard something, we thought it best to stop for a second.’ Black lied quickly, and I saw Lupin look at me closely, suspiciously, almost jealously.
‘Oh ok.’ Smiled Potter.
Seemingly Potter would believe anything that came out his boyfriend's mouth.
‘We better get moving.’ Muttered Lupin and I noticed he was refusing to look at Black, though I don’t know why anyone would ever want to.
‘Yeah.’ I said, peeling myself off the wall and following them as they lead me down the corridor, making sure I kept as much distance from Black as possible.
‘Well another success boys.’ Potter said arrogantly.
But it was their arrogance, as always, that left them open to failure, well that and their own stupidity. Because we were not home safe, as we rounded the corridor on the second floor we were met by a dreadful sight; Filch standing in the middle of the corridor, his stinking cat my his side and a lantern swinging in his hand, bearing the three teeth he had left at us in glee. He had finally caught the marauders, and unfortunately me.
Save some face, you know you’ve only got one
Change your ways while you still can
Boy, one day you’ll be a man, Oh girl, he’ll help you understand.
Smile Like You Mean It – The Killers.
Reader: Well I can at least say am I proud of the length of this story, unfortunately this will be my last post for two weeks as I do my exams. Though after my exams I will return with an update for both stories. Hope you liked this chapter and please, please, please review!